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Player Debates: Joey Gallo, Aroldis Chapman, Trevor Bauer, Tyler Glasnow, Max Muncy

May 20, 2020

Taking Aroldis Chapman is all about your team build.

We have some absolutely electric and controversial players on the debate slate today. You can see the rest of this very long post series at the links below.

Player Debates: Ronald Acuna, Mike Trout, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts
Player Debates: Trevor Story, Francisco Lindor, Gerrit Cole, Trea Turner, Jacob deGrom
Player Debates: Juan Soto, Nolan Arenado, Max Scherzer, Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman
Player Debates: Freddie Freeman, J.D. Martinez, Walker Buehler, Fernando Tatis Jr., Bryce Harper
Player Debates: Rafael Devers, Anthony Rendon, Starling Marte, Jack Flaherty, Stephen Strasburg
Player Debates: Shane Bieber, Justin Verlander, Javier Baez, Xander Bogaerts, Yordan Alvarez
Player Debates: Charlie Blackmon, Jose Altuve, Pete Alonso, Ozzie Albies, Gleyber Torres
Player Debates: Austin Meadows, George Springer, Clayton Kershaw, Ketel Marte, Adalberto Mondesi
Player Debates: Blake Snell, Luis Castillo, Anthony Rizzo, Mike Clevinger, Keston Hiura

Player Debates: Kris Bryant, Nelson Cruz, Manny Machado, Paul Goldschmidt, Patrick Corbin
Player Debates: Eloy Jimenez, Charlie Morton, Chris Paddack, Aaron Nola, Yoan Moncada
Player Debates: Whit Merrifield, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Jonathan Villar, Zack Greinke, Bo Bichette
Player Debates: Aaron Judge, Matt Olson, Lucas Giolito, Tommy Pham, Yu Darvish
Player Debates: Jose Abreu, Josh Hader, Giancarlo Stanton, Victor Robles, Eddie Rosario
Player Debates: D.J. LeMahieu, Marcell Ozuna, Eugenio Suarez, Marcus Semien, Ramon Laureano
Player Debates: Josh Donaldson, J.T. Realmuto, Josh Bell, Kirby Yates, Jorge Soler
Player Debates: Nick Castellanos, Matt Chapman, Luis Robert, Jose Berrios, Tim Anderson

Be sure to bookmark this page to follow along for our complete player debate series.

86) Joey Gallo (OF – TEX)

Case For
“There was never any doubt that Joey Gallo would hit for power, and his two full seasons in Major League Baseball did not disappoint — he reached 40 home runs both times he played at least 145 games. The real concern was that his batting average would be too low to justify consistent playing time. The Texas Rangers clearly haven’t cared, and neither should we. Gallo is a legitimate candidate to lead the league in home runs — he gets an ever bigger boost from his new ballpark, which appears to be more home run friendly than the last — and he saw a major spike in batting average in the half-season he played in 2019. If you’re in an on-base percentage league, then target Gallo even more aggressively.” – Mario Mergola

Case Against
“There are some guys that incredible in a couple of categories, but it comes at the expense of others. Joey Gallo takes this to a whole new level. He is absolutely going to pop homers at one of the highest rates in the league, but he is an absolute tragedy on your team’s batting average. He has a career .212 batting average, which is perfectly backed up by his 38.4% strikeout rate and 47.2% fly-ball rate. 39% of his career hits are home runs; he is a true enigma. In a league where there is no shortage of home runs, the damage Gallo does to your batting average probably is not worth the boost in homers. Everything changes if you play in an on-base percentage league, of course, as he has also posted one of the league’s highest walk rates in his short career, so this is a very league specific guy, but in standard play, I am fading Gallo.” – Jon Anderson

Draft Approach
“Joey Gallo, even if he feels that the Rangers’ new stadium will be a pitcher’s park, still has to be one of the betting favorites every year to lead the league in home runs. The multi-position eligibility that Gallo brings makes him even more valuable, but beware that he will drain your batting average quite a bit. If he can hit around .260, he’s going to be a really valuable asset. If OBP leagues, he’s a top 50 player.”– Michael Waterloo

87) Aroldis Chapman (RP – NYY)

Case For
“Paying the premium for a closer isn’t advised, because replicating that success from year to year – especially for breakout pitchers at the position – is tough to do. But when you have a closer who has been a top-tier option year after year, he’s one of the few who are worth the investment. Chapman isn’t the lights-out closer that he was in the past, but he’s as safe of a bet that there is to finish top 3 at the position. That, alone, makes him worth the price.”– Michael Waterloo

Case Against
“I have been selecting Aroldis Chapman in most of my mock drafts, but mainly because I’m willing to pay a premium to grab one of the top closers on the market. If I’m formulating an argument against him, however, then price point is a clear enough place to start. Chapman remains in the upper tier because of the New York Yankees’ win potential, but he has never saved more than 38 games in a single season. Over the last three years, a closer has saved at least 39 games ten times — some were repeats. His ERA has drifted higher in recent years and, if he isn’t soaring past his other relief pitching counterparts, he likely isn’t worth the cost of acquisition.” – Mario Mergola

Draft Approach
“The same approach should be taken with Chapman as it is with Hader and Yates. If you are building a normal, well-rounded team, he is probably not going to prove to be worth it at this point in the draft. Saves are just too easy to find, and he can only help so much with ratios on a weekly basis when he is getting such a small share of your team’s innings pitched. However, if you are going with a short pitching staff and chasing ratios/saves, he is a great pick. He is one of the few closers in the league with some actual job security, and it is really hard to see him being anything but dominant while healthy. Taking Chapman is all about your team build.” – Jon Anderson

88) Trevor Bauer (SP – CIN)

Case For
“In my opinion, Bauer is the most reliable source of innings in the league. He defies logic, consistently throwing 120+ pitches and showing no signs of fatigue or injury issues. He has one of the highest spin rates in the league on his fastball and one of the highest movement ratings on his slider. There is no better bet in the league to lead the league in innings pitched, which can be very valuable all by itself in the current state of baseball. There are legitimate question marks about his ERA and WHIP as he heads towards his first full season with the Reds at the age of 29, but at this point in the draft you can do a whole lot worse. I like Bauer to be a set-it-and-forget-it SP that can be relied upon to be out there all season.” – Jon Anderson

Case Against
“For someone who thinks he’s the best player on the planet and an innovative genius, Trevor Bauer really only has one good season under his belt. If you’re in a league that counts innings pitched, he has increased value, but outside of that, the strikeouts aren’t worth the over-hyped price that comes with drafting Bauer.”– Michael Waterloo

Draft Approach
“It appears that Trevor Bauer’s 2018 campaign was more of an outlier than the beginning of a new uptrend, but we have seen two of his most important statistics hold for now three consecutive seasons — and two teams. That is, he strikes out well over one batter-per-inning and he consistently throws at least 175 innings in each season — reaching that milestone in each of the last five years. Like most starting pitchers, Bauer will thrive in a points league because of his volume, but we can’t expect the rest of his numbers to snap back to their 2018 levels.” – Mario Mergola

89) Tyler Glasnow (SP – TB)

Case For
Tyler Glasnow might be the player who will most benefit from a shortened 2020 season, and it actually vaults him so far up the rankings that he should be discussed near the upper tier. The single-biggest concern with Glasnow was a potential innings limit, as he threw only 60.2 innings in 2019 and was almost certainly not seeing an increase of more than 100 total innings in 2020. If the entire league is scaled down, then Glasnow’s ridiculous numbers from ’19 fit neatly into a condensed ’20. Of course, we have to factor in some regression, but he had enough wiggle room to allow his ERA to move toward the mean. The Tampa Bay Rays have clearly made strides with Glasnow, and his only potential restriction appears to be a non-factor for this upcoming season.– Mario Mergola

Case Against
“Nobody is going to argue against the stuff Glasnow has. He was probably the best pitcher in baseball last year until his injury, as evidenced by his final season line of a 0.89 WHIP, a 1.78 ERA, and a 33% strikeout rate to go with a small 6% walk rate. The problem is that he really only has one (shortened) season where his control wasn’t a major concern. Over his first three seasons in the show, he posted walk rates of 12.4%, 14.4%, and 11.3%. It is very hard for a pitcher to be an effective fantasy option with walk rates that high. There is not a big enough sample of data to prove that those problems are behind him, so you have to approach with caution. The upside is absolutely enormous, but there is more risk here than the industry seems to want to admit to.” – Jon Anderson

Draft Approach
“Tyler Glasnow had Pittsburgh Pirates fans everywhere cursing the name of Neal Huntington more than usual with his 2019 performance. Well, at least early on, because then the injury happened to Glasnow, which is where the concern always is with him. He has top 5 pitcher potential in the league, and questioning how he will hold up over the course of the season is fair, too. He’s an ideal back-end SP2 with unlimited ceiling. “– Michael Waterloo

90) Max Muncy (2B/1B – LAD)

Case For
“With the three positions he plays, it’s worth wondering why Max Muncy isn’t going even earlier? Sure, he’s a late-career breakout, but he repeated his 2018 success in 2019, and the Dodgers are going to have him locked into their everyday lineup. In OBP leagues, he’s more valuable, as his average leaves much to be desired, but even if he repeats his 2018 and 2019 numbers again in 2020, he’s worth the cost.”– Michael Waterloo

Case Against
Max Muncy silenced many of his doubters by following a 35-home run season with another 35-home run season. Yet here we are, poking holes in Muncy’s game. In fairness, it’s less about his “game” and more about his trajectory. Even though he repeated his home run total, his runs and RBI totals both dramatically increased. Now, we would be asking him to take another step for a third consecutive season. This has caused an unnatural inflation for his draft price, and it means many will overpay for him. In addition, if his batting average doesn’t improve, he’ll continue to hurt in that area while likely slipping from his highs in other categories.– Mario Mergola

Draft Approach
“If you don’t have a second baseman at this point in the draft and don’t want to completely punt the position, Muncy is a great guy to grab. He is extremely appealing in an on-base percentage league as well, and his multi-position eligibility is a big plus as well. At age 29 as a late-bloomer, it’s hard to really depend on him for production, but what he’s done over the last two seasons has been very convincing, and there are just so many runs and RBI to go around in that Dodgers lineup. Muncy is probably a bit under-valued here, and he makes a great guy to plug in at second base as you approach double-digit rounds in your draft.” – Jon Anderson

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